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MP warns more anti-Russian sanctions undermine prospects of restoring ties with US

A total of 419 lawmakers supported the bill, with only three votes against

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. The bill to expand sanctions against Russia, approved by the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, seriously undermines the possibility of restoring Russian-US ties, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Wednesday.

"No doubt, the expanded restrictions undermine the possibility of restoring the Russian-US ties and will complicate them even further in the foreseeable future. At the same time, the possibility of diplomatic maneuvers to untie this Gordian knot in the Russian-US dialogue is being reduced almost to zero," said Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.

According to the lawmaker, "the sanctions, if signed by the US President Donald Trump, will become the most extensive and complex since 2014 and will affect not only Russian companies, but also other states who will cooperate with Russia, including in the vast energy sector."

Slutsky added that "the bill on sanctions is intended to deter not only Russia, but also US partners in Europe."

"It directly states the goal of promoting US liquefied natural gas on global markets. To that purpose, Russian gas needs to be removed from the market. In Europe, this approach was already described as running counter to all norms of the international law and violating stability and energy security of the continent," the International Affairs Committee’s chairman said.

"I hope that the European Commission will give its adequate response soon and will not support the restrictive measures that are being dictated from across the ocean. It’s high time that Brussels starts conducting its own policies instead of dancing to Washington’s tune and obeying its instructions of whom to be friends with and with whom to trade," he said.

The House of Representatives of the US Congress on Tuesday passed a bill to toughen unilateral US sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. A total of 419 lawmakers supported the bill, with only three votes against.

The document will be submitted to the Senate, where it enjoys widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans. If approved by the parliament, the bill will be forwarded to US President Donald Trump, who has already voiced his readiness to sign it into law.

If signed into law, the document will make it impossible for the president and his administration to lift the sanctions independently.